Sudden cardiac arrests are scary and often deadly.
They occur when the heart suddenly stops beating, thus stopping oxygen-rich blood from reaching the brain and other organs. A victim of cardiac arrest can die within minutes if not treated right away.
Cai Yinzhou, 29, understands this. A former Scout, Yinzhou has had training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Today, the founder of local company Citizen Adventures is a quick responder to sudden cardiac arrests within his vicinity.
He utilises Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)’s myResponder mobile app, which alerts registered users to cases of cardiac arrest within a 400-metre radius.
Whenever he’s alerted to a suspected cardiac arrest near him, he’ll drop everything to rush to their aid.
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Last Monday was an ordinary one for Yinzhou, who was due to meet an acquaintance at Djitsun Mall in Ang Mo Kio.
Suddenly, his phone buzzed.
In a Facebook post, Yinzhou shared that myResponder alerted him to a case of suspected cardiac arrest at Cheng San, a precinct located within Ang Mo Kio.
Without hesitation, Yinzhou tapped to ‘accept’ the case, and sprinted towards the location of the suspected cardiac arrest.
But, when he checked the app again for the block number, he realised the location had changed – it now indicated Block 725, instead of Cheng San, and in the opposite direction.
He immediately turned and sprinted the other direction, towards Block 725, and arrived at the block just seconds before the ambulance did.
He told The Pride: “Throughout my run there, I mentally prepared myself by reciting ‘DR ABC’: “Danger, Response, Airway, Breathing and Circulation.”
This is to determine whether a victim needs CPR.
“After introducing myself to the family of the victim, I went into a room to see an elderly ah ma (grandmother), who was conscious but with laboured breath,” Yinzhou says.
“I checked for response and consciousness – both of which were present – and choking – there was none – before asking for medicine list and for the family to prepare her identification, as it would be needed when transferring her to the hospital.”
Moments later, the paramedics arrived.
“They hooked her up to oxygen and we transferred her to the stretcher,” Yinzhou said. “I held the lift while they wheeled her out the flat and down to the ambulance.”
Yinzhou, who makes it a point to help others whenever possible, added that he has administered CPR via myResponder on three separate occasions, and has also saved the life of an Argentinian stroke victim.
However, he revealed that he has not yet met another responder when rushing to the aid a cardiac arrest victim. He hopes that more Singaporeans will adopt the app.
And, there was an unfortunate reason Yinzhou ran in the wrong direction on Monday: “It was only when I checked the app again that I realised the initial alert did indeed indicate Cheng San. There was another alert, which came in one minute and 23 seconds later, that overrode the initial alert. That second one was at Block 725.”
“Hopefully the other person was okay,” Yinzhou said.
Yinzhou made this appeal to Singaporeans in his Facebook post: “Go learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED), download the myResponder app developed by SCDF and subscribe to cardiac arrest and fires near you!
“No single person can do everything, but if everyone does a small thing well we’ll be able to do a lot more!”
The SCDF myResponder app is available on the Apple and Google Play app stores.